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Al Sobotka shares his memories of the Joe, take 2

MLive's Emily Bingham posted a video in which Al Sobotka shares his memories of Joe Louis Arena:

Working his way up from the midnight shift at Olympia Stadium, where he swept floors after hockey games, concerts and circuses for $3.25 an hour, Sobotka eventually became the Wings' sole Zamboni driver -- a job he won't let anyone else touch. A fairly invisible role at most arenas, it's one that Sobotka has elevated to legendary status through his own obsession with perfection. The ice in Detroit has long been revered as some of the best in the league.

"All my [training] about the ice was all on the job -- watching, asking questions," he said. "I observe it, study it. I never leave anything that's not supposed to be there. It's not just driving."

Bingham continues...

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The Detroit Red Wings Recall Tomas Nosek


added 10:04am, Press release is below...

added 10:12am,


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Scotty Bowman With Memories Of The Joe

from Adrian Dater of BSN Denver,

Bowman won three Stanley Cups as coach of the Red Wings (1997, 1998 and 2002), winning a Cup in his final game as a head coach, at “The Joe”, in ’02 against the Carolina Hurricanes. So, there were lots of other great memories here.

“We had a lot of success as a team, but what I’ll probably remember as much from my time working there was how it was a real family atmosphere in the building among all the people who worked there. It wasn’t just the players and coaches, but the whole staff who worked at the arena. I got to really know many of them. They felt like they were part of the team too, not just hired hands,” Bowman said. “It was a good place to work. The parking lot was right next to the office. You’d just park, walk in the door and make a quick left and you were sitting down.

Bowman will also well remember the double-overtime goal Steve Yzerman scored to beat St. Louis in Game 7 of a 1996 Western playoff series, but also a Game 7 loss at home to San Jose in 1994.

“That loss to San Jose was a real tough one,” he said.


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Dylan Larkin Doing Just Fine At Center

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“Dylan Larkin was excellent, Andreas Athanasiou was excellent,” coach Jeff Blashill said after the Arizona game. (Today is a day off.) “Those two guys did a real good job on the second night of a back-to-back. They have the young legs and they did an excellent job.

“Justin played excellent. He adds physicality, adds net presence, can make a play.”

Where Abdelkader creates space with his physicality, Athanasiou serves as a good emergency option if needed.

“Playing with a guy like Andreas is huge,” Larkin said. “It makes myself, as a centerman, worry less about how we are going to get up the ice. In the Colorado game, a few times, I just threw it to his wing, where he was flying. You know he is going to get the puck in the other zone and then we are going to have chances to play offense.

“We have been focusing on holding on to pucks more and trying to create off the cycle. We got some puck luck tonight -- the puck kind of seemed to follow us around. But we did a good job of stopping on pucks and hanging on to it and trying to make some plays down low.”


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TMR morning line: Blashill on the Wings’ ‘hard times’

MLive's Ansar Khan penned a late-breaking recap of the Red Wings' 5-4 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes, and Khan found a near-perfect summation of the Red Wings' situation from Wings coach Jeff Blashill:

"These are obviously not easy times, these are hard times and they test your character and I think the one thing we've been blessed with - I've said this lots - is great character," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We got to keep grinding and making sure we're playing the right way and I thought our guys did a real good job of that."

Khan continues...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Coyotes wrap-up—that was a little odd

The Red Wings won a strange game on Thursday night/Friday morning, taking a 5-4 shootout decision from the Arizona Coyotes. In a derby between a pair of the league's worst teams (among the league's worst, anyway), the Red Wings may have actually hurt themselves by winning--in fact, Detroit's 8-and-0 on the shootout--but it's incredibly hard to ask players or coaches to give less than their best, or at least close to it.

The emphasis for Thursday is "at least close to it," because neither team was on top of their respective games. The Red Wings and Coyotes ultimately gave fans an entertaining and sometimes terrifying experience very specifically because both teams played slightly sloppy hockey, and both team's young players made the kinds of mistakes that end up in the back of one's net.

For the Coyotes, coming out on the bottom of an affair that was less than elegant was quite the disappointment, as Arizona coach Dave Tippett told Arizona Sports' Craig Morgan:

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Red Wings-Coyotes quick take: Weird win

The Red Wings attempted to rebound from a difficult loss to Colorado as they faced the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

The Wings won a weird one--a really weird one--with the Wings scoring 2 power play goals en route to a 5-4 shootout win that the Wings could have won in regulation had they not surrendered a late tying goal by Jakob Chychrun of all people.

This game was just strange, from Mantha's 3rd period benching to the pitched battle between Domi and Abdelkader, but the Wings prevailed and damaged their draft position as a result. Very strange, very strange.

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On a limited edition ‘Red Wings sneaker’

If you are interested, per the Detroit News's Adam Graham:

The Detroit Red Wings have entered their home stretch at Joe Louis Arena, and Royal Oak sneaker boutique Burn Rubber is giving fans something to wear to the final games.

Burn Rubber has partnered with Reebok to create the red, black and white sneaker, which honors the Wings and the team’s history in a number of ways. An imprint of an octopus is on the tongue, the Red Wings logo is etched into the back of the right shoe (the Burn Rubber logo is on the left) and the Wings’ championship years are listed on the two insoles.

The $140 limited edition sneaker — only 600 pairs were produced — goes on sale at a special event at Burn Rubber, 306 S. Main St., from 6-8 p.m. Friday and will be available, while supplies last, when Burn Rubber opens its doors at noon on Saturday.

“We wanted to make it Detroit, in line and in tune with the Red Wings, and as classic as the Red Wings are,” says Roland “Ro” Coit, who designed the sneaker with Burn Rubber business partner Rick Williams.

They decided to integrate black heavily into the design to make it more wearable and functional, despite the lack of black in the team’s uniforms. “We didn’t want to make a bright red shoe,” Coit says. “We kind of thought of it as an alternate jersey.”


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Adrian Dater pens a fond farewell to the Joe

BSN Denver's Adrian Dater pays tribute to the Joe, and the former Denver Post scribe has...positive feelings about the Red Wings' home?

A lot of Colorado Avalanche fans might toast a glass of champagne when Joe Louis Arena is reduced to rubble soon. Some of the Avs’ worst memories happened at “The Joe”, including the March 26, 1997, game in which the Detroit Red Wings exacted revenge on Claude Lemieux. Then there was the infamous “Meltdown in Motown”, when the Avs lost 7-0 in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals.

There is probably more than one longtime Avs fan who might enjoy pushing the button on the first mechanical wrecking ball to hit the place.

Myself, I might get a tear or two in the eyes when I walk out of The Joe for the last time Saturday, along with the rest of the Avalanche. For me, Joe Louis Arena is full of some of my life’s best memories, and very few of them have to do with any of the great, great games the Avs and Red Wings played in the heyday of the wondrous rivalry between the teams. Yes, the hockey on the ice was special, but Joe Louis Arena was a special place to me for other reasons and I’m really going to miss it.

Dater continues...

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Red Wings reassign Lashoff to Grand Rapids

The Red Wings didn't have a roster emergency, so Brian Lashoff is heading back to Grand Rapids:

Here's the press release:

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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